Homeless Management Information System
VIA LINK’S Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) department oversees the HMIS system for Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.
The HMIS system is a database that tracks all homeless people in these parishes, including runaway and homeless youth. It also collects information about the services that are being provided to the homeless and keeps an inventory of the beds in shelters and the housing options that are available. Part of this work involves our HMIS staff going to shelters each night to gather information about who is staying there and how many beds are available.
VIA LINK oversees the HMIS system on behalf of the UNITY of Greater New Orleans Continuum of Care, which is a collaboration of over 120 programs that serve the homeless. VIA LINK acts as a liaison between these programs and government agencies to ensure that homelessness data is accurate and readily available. By managing the HMIS system we ensure that the Continuum of Care complies with HUD’s data collection and reporting requirements.
Accurate data plays an important role in helping to design and evaluate homeless services. The information collected through HMIS creates a narrative on the past and current experiences of households dealing with homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. If gathered widely and interpreted accurately, data can lead to deeper insights and result in appropriate community responses.